Some people are fans of the New England Patriots. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New England Patriots. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Happy Fun Team.
I could have caught that stupid pass. Eat shit eternally.
Your 2017 record: “Tom Brady! BEREFT ON THE TURF!!!!”
This franchise has won five Super Bowls and has enjoyed a longstanding run of success that will never be duplicated in this sport, least of all by whoever ends up running this team when Bill Belichick decides to retire to life of carrying around tiny dogs and sucking face with every stepmom in Newport. But no one’s gonna remember any of the good shit. Here is what America will remember about this team instead:
- Losing the Super Bowl on the same trick play their own quarterback failed to execute earlier in the game.
- Benching and exiling one of their best cornerbacks (who was also a proven big game hero) right before the Super Bowl, driving that player to tears, keeping him out of the game even as the pass defense was crying out for help, never explaining why, and having the gall to get angry about it when asked.
- Enabling the country’s absolute WORST fans and encouraging them to cry out FAKE NEWS any time ESPN reports that Tom Brady forced the rest of the team to drink his steroid dealer’s patented Brain Milk, featuring six different strains of Zyklon B.
- Watching their dynasty crumble at the hands of Nick Foles’s penis, handing over ultimate football bragging rights to the Eagles. The fucking Eagles, man. Imagine legitimizing the Philadelphia Eagles. You idiots opened the portal to HELL.
- Losing their exalted status as The Exemplary NFL Franchise because Tom Brady’s insane guru can’t stop beefing with the head coach and plying the star tight end with organic uppers.
- Gronk cheap-shotting innocent Buffalonians.
- Trading away their surefire next great QB for absolute dick last year just to appease their airheaded French poodle of a quarterback.
- Getting clowned by Eli Manning and David Tyree.
- Keeping a MAGA hat in the locker.
- Singlehandedly keeping Jon Bon Jovi relevant.
- Being the mysterious beneficiaries of nearly every horrible call last season (The Austin Seferian-Jenkins “fumble,” Jesse James’s catch, Kelvin Benjamin’s catch, Myles Jack whistled down), and having their cuntheaded fans STILL believe they’re not getting a fair shake.
- Kissing sons on the mouth for longer than is comfortable.
- Employing Satan’s accountant as head coach … a man whose terminal surliness is a perfect match for the proudly dour fuckheads who live in New England and spend all their free time hunting for new things to bitch about.
- Being owned by a talking frog who only gets hornier the more his offshore tax havens grow.
- The weaselly shit of an offensive coordinator taking a job in Indy and then bailing and fucking over all of the assistants he hired, all because his boss is still salty about the Colts complaining about hand-checking to the league office a decade ago.
- HBO signing a poor man’s Chris Hardwick to a contract extension.
- Conspiring with the President to render the word “Patriot” meaningless and insufferable.
- Racist jersey burners.
- Marky Mark bailing on the Super Bowl early and then blaming it on his kid.
- Conducting NSA-level surveillance on every man, woman and child in the universe and then feigning ignorance when old rape charges turn up on one of their own coaches.
- Charging fans $4.50 for tap water.
- “Mr. Kelly marveled that Mr. Trump had spent a long time the day before on the phone with Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots coach, talking about the status of Tom Brady, the star quarterback, according to two people familiar with his remarks, one of whom was present.”
- HOLY SHIT YOU REALLY LOST A SUPER BOWL TO NICK FOLES LOLOLOLOLOLFOREVER, EVEN THE BROWNS HAVE NEVER LOST A SUPER BOWL TO NICK FOLES, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT, YOU COULD HAVE BEATEN THAT TEAM IF YOUR BLOODWORM OF A HEAD COACH HAD COMPROMISED WITH HIS BULLSHIT NEXT-MAN-UP PHILOSOPHY FOR JUST ONCE IN HIS MISERABLE LIFE.
Did I get everything? Reader, I did not. The treachery only deepens from here. Read on…
Your coach: This fountain of joy:
I can’t believe I had to root for Dan Shaughnessy in that video. There are a million different theories as to why Bill Belichick stuck Malcolm Butler on the bench for the Super Bowl and kept him there even as his defense was drowning: Butler smoked weed in the hotel, he broke curfew, he voted Democrat, etc. I cherish each of those theories as if they were my own offspring, but the answer to this mystery is hiding in plain sight:
‘At this point in my career, I want to coach guys I like. I want to coach guys I want to be around and that’s it, and I’m not going to coach anybody else.’
In Bill Belichick’s wildest dreams, he’s fielding a team that consists of nothing but undrafted, white, 180-pound free agents from Rutgers who never talk back, and the Butler benching is the beginning of a new phase of his career in which he makes that dream a reality. He’s already won all the Super Bowls he needs to win. Why NOT experiment and see if he can eke out a few wins every year fielding a roster cobbled exclusively out of Stoolie wet dreams? He benched Butler because he could.
Father Fucking Superior here. “Ooooooooh nothing rattles us because our system is so awesome!” Stop Nick Foles when it matters and maybe I’ll buy into your horseshit again. And buy some decent clothes, you fucking slob.
“Adapt or die” is probably what he tells women right before insertion.
Your quarterback: This thug:
I believe it all. I believe every bit of tawdry gossip about Tom Brady and his dingbat trainer alienating everyone else in the organization and creating their own little fiefdom within the Patriots’ fiefdom. I’m always amazed at guys like Brady, who can be so brilliant on the field and then turn around and get suckered in by every two-bit hustler with a set of resistance bands hanging out around outside the facility. He’ll be bankrupted and involved in six different fraud suits by age 50. Look at this man’s takes and tell me he’s got an IQ above his rushing totals:
“When I was growing up, and playing outside in the sun, I got sunburned a lot. I was a fair-skinned Irish boy, after all. These days, even if I get an adequate amount of sun, I won’t get a sunburn, which I credit to the amount of water I drink.”
And now in his book, he states outright that the responsibility for injury rests in part with the injured. “When athletes get injured, they shouldn’t blame their sport — or their age,” he writes. “Injuries happen when our bodies are unable to absorb or disperse the amount of force placed on them.”
The reason this man can never be concussed isn’t because of magic pajamas or nanobubbles or holding the nightshades. It’s because you can’t damage something that isn’t there.
Eventually, all the shit will come out on Tom Brady. Julian Edelman will be forced turn state’s evidence against Brady and we’ll find out just how many graves he robbed to keep his organs fresh. We’ll find out that Alex Guerrero not only got kicked out of team headquarters, but tunneled underneath walls to get back in to sabotage every other player’s training methods. Gronk’s gonna be so fucked up by the end of the season that Belichick will have to shoot him between the eyes. We’ll find out Brady cut Jimmy Garoppolo’s brakes. We’ll find out he poured liquid cocaine on his hand wound. We’ll find out all dogs hate him. We’ll find out that he rigged elections to win Patriot of the Week every week in the coming season. And we’ll definitely find out that he cornered his owner while that owner was stoned as balls and got him to force the head coach to ship Jimmy Garoppolo out of town. All of that is coming. Every viper in that pit will turn on Brady the second he finally shows his age. This man’s legacy has only begun to be sullied. Russell Wilson is a more genuine soul. Beneath the pristine image he tries so hard to preserve, the world knows that Tom Brady is a spoiled bitch.
What’s new that sucks: It’s the same roster churn you can always expect in New England. Dion Lewis is gone, so the team drafted Laurence Maroney II and signed a fumbling Bengal to take his place. They also signed Cordarrelle Patterson and he will almost certainly become a viable receiving option thanks to Belichick’s magical coaching and Brady’s not-so-magical HGH pipeline. Gronk will either get horribly injured by midseason or the team will trade him to Detroit before that happens, and then notify him via text message. Holding down the fort while yippy lapdog Julian Edelman serves out his suspension (and sits in a tree looking into Brady’s home with a pair of binoculars) will be an open audition of castoffs including Phillip Dorsett. Adrian Clayborn will probably sack a lot of people.
None of these changes matter because the AFC is still comically terrible and the Patriots will be gifted a season-long bye to the fucking AFC title game anyway. How is this conference so shitty? I demand they re-seed the playoffs. I’m so tired of this.
Isaiah Wynn got hurt and is lost for the season. Every time a player is hurt on this team, Belichick gets an injury boner and salivates at the prospect of molding some nearby ironworker into a serviceable tackle.
What has always sucked: You think it’s a coincidence that the NFL became an ongoing national moral emergency right as this team began its run of dominance? It is not. The Patriots and the NFL learned from one another: the secrecy, the clumsy authoritarianism, the callous disregard for humanity, the demonization of journalistic inquiry, the tone-deafness, the hatred of joy, the gross fetishization of making human beings eternally replaceable, the buried bodies in the desert, the complete and total disregard for ethics … all of it. The Pats epitomize everything wrong with football culture, and their fans are somehow the worst part of it.
These fans. These fucking disgusting, wretched, miserable asshole fans. When Bill Simmons and Dave Portnoy are your standard-bearers, it’s not due to bad luck. That’s you, Boston (and L.A. via Boston). For every Pats fan out there who’s like WE’RE NOT LIKE THAT I SWEAR, there are 587 dudes with 12 avatars who very much are like that, and who are ready to SWAT your house the second you tweet a link to ESPN about this team farting in the opposing team’s water supply. Every bad thing about the team is fake news. Everyone outside the team has a sinister agenda to bring them down (this is true in my case). Everything is UNFAIR AND BIASED.
What if Wickersham were misled or misinformed by a source? What if he became a little too consumed with spinning a certain narrative over presenting a balanced case?
Fuck you with a hammer, kiddo. Occam’s Razor is lost on every single one of these dipshits. I’m glad all of the bad calls in the Super Bowl went against this team, because A) LOL you lost to Nick Foles and B) We may as well keep feeding these paranoid maniacs until they end up in an asylum, smearing shit all over the walls. It’s the endgame that this dynasty and this whiny, pathetic fanbase deserves. I hope Jimmy G wins eight titles and Brady’s scrotum shrivels into a pea.
Every goddamn Boston fan in the world thinks you want to hear their sports fan life story. The emails we get from them are ENDLESS. “I was born a small Duxbury child …” NO ONE GIVES A SHIT. The typical Boston fan is basically a drunken cab driver standing on a park bench, accosting passersby and forcing them to stare at old Fenway Park scorecards. “I WAS FACKIN’ THEY-AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” I don’t give a shit about how you lived through the Hugh Millen years. I don’t give a shit about Larry Bird. I really don’t give a shit about Carlton Fisk. And I don’t give a shit about you. You people are the lowest form of conversation.
And for the last time, it’s a liquor store, not a package store.
What might not suck: I can always count on the local Boston media to hold Belichick’s feet to the fire and demand some accountability out of this franchise. LOL JK I’M ONLY FUCKING WITH YOU. Everyone covering this team is either a chickenshit, a fabulist, or a grandstanding shitheel.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: You don’t deserve nostalgia and I’m not giving it to you. Get fucked.
HEAR IT FROM PATRIOTS FANS!
Alex Guerrero is the Yoko Ono of the NFL.
To defend them feels like defending family separation at the border.
Whenever I meet new people I have to hide my fandom like I have an uncle who is a felon and only tell people after they know me for a while.
How come the greatest QB has to be this guy?
It’s like being married to someone without any skin.
Our coach spends the off-season doing photoshoots on his boat (named “VII Rings”) with pastel sweaters tied around his shoulders for Nantucket Fuck Boi Quaterly.
For four hours we watched Nick Foles and Nelson Aghalor become Montana to Rice as our coach did nothing and slowly morphed into Jim Caldwell.
I bet Julian Edelman and Marky Mark use the same steroid dealer. Neither are good at completing a full Patriots game lately.
Our constitutionally uncharismatic, dead eyed bitch QB essentially leveraged his god-status with chowder-addled Pats fans to force the famously remorseless Bill Belichick to trade away the team’s QB future. What the fuck.
Fuck Bill Belichick with a whole jackfruit.
Bill Belichick is an asshole.
One or two more years of good times before Brady retires to sell pajamas and snake oil with his boy Alex Guerrero and we get 20 years of well-deserved, appalling karma.
I hope Butler picks Brady off five times in week 10 while wearing a Big Dick Nick undershirt.
The last 18 years of Patriots football represent the very, very best of sporting at any level anywhere in the world throughout history. And yet the only thing that will matter in the end is how fucking malodorous the air is in Foxboro.
The comeback against Atlanta would have made for an absolutely perfect series finale - why is this show still happening?
The vast majority of Patriots fans actually hate pro football and don’t ever want it to exist without the Pats standing astride it like a colossus.
I’m not crazy for thinking we should’ve kept Jimmy G and traded Brady to the Jets for 4 First Rounders.
I hope Jimmy Garoppolo wins every Super Bowl from now until forever.
Fuck Asante Samuel. If anyone needs a mixtape released, Asante Samuel will drop it for free.
Brady should’ve just married Ivanka Trump so we can all stop pretending there’s any shred of goodness to this organization.
Our fan base is a bunch of toxic, vile, fat racists who reject any criticism (however minor) as jealousy.
Amendola overthrew the ball and all of you fucks know it.
Fuck Goodell and every Boston sports fan I’ve never met and hope to never meet.
Tom Brady kisses his son for a full 5-Mississippi.
The shitdick defense got destroyed by pastor Matt Cassel and it cost us the Super Bowl.
Just look at this man. He’s the perfect stereotypical Masshole sports fan, casual racism and everything. I lived in Boston for close to a decade and met more people like this than I care to remember.
I’m ready for the Pats to suck. I’m ready for everyone to make fun of me for how much they suck. I’m ready for this to be over.
There is more misery and negativity and rage among Pats fans than in all the fans of bottom-ranking teams combined.
I’m jumping to the 49ers the SECOND Brady retires. Jimmy Christ is OUR quarterback no matter what, and I’m not sticking around for the shitshow.
Why read Patriots WYTS when you can just listen to Boston sports radio every day and hear all the ‘die-hard’ fans trip over themselves to declare the dynasty over?
Fuck Ben Volin with a hot bowl of clam chowder, and fuck Roger Goodell and Troy Vincent with an air pressure gauge.
Belichick is a sociopath, Brady is a weirdo and Gronk is an idiot.
Bob Kraft’s REAL Patriot Way is to get gifted your father-in-law’s business to finance your purchase of the local team. Then luck your way into the greatest NFL player of all time and *WINK WINK DEFINITELY DON’T* make a backroom deal for him to take less money in exchange for a “consulting” gig after he retires.
It’s the denial, man. You expect a certain amount of spin from Belichick and the PR flacks in Foxboro. But the fans’ collective ability to deny reality is just atrocious.
Benching your star corner in the Super Bowl where you are getting gashed by NICK FUCKING FOLES to make a fucking point is the height of arrogance and it’s making me angry again to even type it.
Kraft has gifted Super Bowl rings to both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
You will never meet a greater population of thin-skinned, hyper-sensitive, arrogant assholes. And you think this will end when the Pats are bad? Ha, you’re fucking delusional. Pats fans will be even more insufferable, because now into the future every player will never be as great as TAWMY, and every coach will pale in comparison to BILLY.
The team is led by a vapid shill and Sports Dick Cheney, the fans are tripping over themselves to confirm their worst stereotypes, and the owner is quietly slow-clapping as he profits from the 2016 election. Every fiber of my rational being retches at the continued success of this franchise. AND YET that desperate, sad 6-year old still lives inside me, guiltily cheering on the Yankees of Football.
In the middle of the horrific winter of 2015, my Dolphins fan brother-in-law drove 13 hours to visit us in Boston. I poured him a shot of whiskey shortly after he walked through the door. What could be better after more than half a day spent on I-90, right? The shot “happened” to be in a commemorative Patriots Super Bowl XLIX shot glass. He looked at it like I’d just handed him a lump of dogshit on a chipped saucer.
We are some of the worst winners in the NFL and absolutely some of the worst losers. I’m disgusted with our overgrown Stasi cocktumor of a head coach and our freakish, all smiles, sociopathic quarterback. And for all of this, I will go to my grave convinced—beyond a shadow of a doubt—Belichick and Brady should have won more Super Bowls, and I still want #12 to win at least one more. I am a vile, despicable hypocrite.
My life as a Patriots fan roughly gets divided into two seasons. February-End of August, where I am a sane, rational human. I can and will engage with others like a normal person, thinking and analyzing all points of an argument before making a snap judgment. I routinely apologize to outsiders for the behaviours of the wide Boston sports fan community. Then September rolls around and I change... I become a deflategate truther. I defend our paranoid white nationalist coach. Our 40yr old QB who chased away the future of the franchise? I defend him. I do all of these things knowing that in my heart of hearts, it’s all petty tribalism at its worst. I’m a hypocrite because I feed into it September through February. I closetly hate myself for it.
This is pretty easy: our owner is a horny gnome who latched onto a 25-year-old a few months after his sainted wife died of cancer. Our GM/coach droid has a hard-on for the Navy though he never served, shits on journalists and concussions with equal disdain, cuts off his sleeves “because he doesn’t care” but names his fucking Nantucket fleet after his Super Bowl rings, ditched his wife for a hotter version, physically cannot smile, and has cultivated his own reputation for genius to the point where he gets credit for overcoming shitty GM decisions because he’s brainwashed everyone as a coach. Our QB is the Derek Jeter of blank condescension and smug handsomeness, plus a heap of bratty entitlement, and he cast aside a hot Hollywood baby mama because Gisele. He’s also edging into Peyton Manning territory for shilling shit — except what he shills is medical quackery and Tony Robbins
They all cheat in football. They are all disloyal as hell to women. And although they play in the most liberal region of the country, they all openly, unapologetically supported Trump.
I hope Putin never gives the ring back.
Because this is a shirt that my hometown WalMart has in stock:
Thin skinned. Drunk. Loud. Self-flagellating. Unrepentant. The fan base is the most obnoxious collection blowhards that’s ever existed. Without prompting, they’ll drunkenly tell you about whatever hot take out of Felger and Mazz’s asshole that they heard on their drive home— whether you want it or not. This is a public restroom Sir!
—Tell me about how Spygate was a witch hunt
—Tell me about how #deflategate was also a witch hunt (so many witches in the 617)
—Tell me about how manipulating weekly injury and IR reports isn’t cheating
—Tell me how Tom Brady didn’t (or did if you ask HIS WIFE) have any unreported concussions last year
—Tell me about how any light breeze against Tom Brady is roughing, but Cam Newton is tossed into the thunderdome weekly and “that’s just football”
Your beer sucks, you talk like children, neither The Town nor the Departed was really that good, and you’re dirty cheaters. You’re the human equivalent to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. For a part of the country that is all too willing to jam down your throat how many hospitals and colleges there are, you shouldn’t be this perpetually stupid. There’s just as many KKK hoods and inbred shitbags east of i-495 as there are in any Alabama suburb.
The notion of us losing somehow galvanized the rest of the nation to cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl. If the Pats somehow miss the playoffs this year, the number of hot takes that’ll be spewed forth will burn Boston down quicker than British cannon fire ever could.
This year was a tough one for me personally. I hurt a couple of important people in my life through my self-destructive tendencies and finally realized, after a couple of false starts, that I needed to get into therapy and start untangling some of this knotted ball of yarn. Through that, I came to realize that I’ve been emotionally numb for a while and have been callous in my interpersonal reactions because I don’t believe there will be any consequences. I soon after realized that this can be attributed in large part to me being a Patriots fan.
I’m a Patriots fan because of a formative encounter with Tom Brady that occurred when I was about six years old. I’m ready to move on whenever his magic sleepwear finally disintegrates and he ages forty years in six seconds like Peter Thiel hooked him up to a special machine. Then maybe I’ll pick another team until this stupid sport dissolves in thirty years. Then maybe I’ll feel something again.
The team right now is like a marriage that’s been together for 18 years, the thrill has worn off, and everyone is starting to get sick of each other. Everyone’s getting testy, and the slightest of words is enough to piss people off. Everyone involved with this franchise is becoming more rotten and unlikable with each passing year.
After years of practiced blandness, Tom Brady has molted his skin to become a new age fitness crank, shilling fad diets and questionable training methods for his quack doctor. I look forward to his post-football career as a cult leader selling homeopathic diet pills and healing crystals.
Bill Belichick has fooled people into thinking him being a surly asshole is why he’s a great coach for a long time. It was a sign of his football genius in the way every impending free agent was relentlessly shivved in the back, in the totalitarian control he exerted over his players. No one is bigger than the team. Everyone is disposable. Don’t try to stand out, or your ass is gone. And finally, finally, his ego backfired on him. No one’s ever going to say the real reason why Malcolm Butler was benched for the entirety of the Super Bowl, but it doesn’t matter: we all know what it is, deep down. You think you’re bigger than the team? You want to get paid? Fuck you. You’re not gonna play on defense at all. We’ll win the game without you. See how you like that. It didn’t matter that his defense was getting completely shredded. To make a change, to put Malcolm in to at least TRY to make a difference, would be an act of surrender, and that matters more to bill than winning a championship, fuck whatever all the other players and the fans want.
And that is Bill’s true character. Just a petty tyrant who happens to be incidentally successful as a football coach. None of the asshole shit he does is related to being a good coach, he just does it because he likes having control over people. This is his legacy: someone who’d bench his Super Bowl hero from 3 years ago solely to prove a point. Someone who’d throw a chance at a fucking championship away to satisfy his own bloated ego. As much as all the winning, that’s what I’ll think about when I think of him from now on. Fuck that cowardly fat little goblin.
The fans continue to get worse, determind to suck every bit of joy out of following this team. They’re the strongest argument for the abolition of professional sports, as success has brought no happiness to these people, only made them more miserable and resentful. Just tens of thousands of mini Mark Wahlbergs, drunkenly shouting racial slurs and looking to start a fight. The reason they react with such paranoid hostility to any reports of internal tensions in Foxboro, the reason every report critical of the team is greeted with such vitriol and subjected to such vigorous truthering, is because deep down they all know it’s true. The end for this run is coming, sooner rather than later, and they can feel it. But if you deny, deny, deny as hard as you can, maybe it will go away, maybe it will make the story not real, maybe the team can hold on a little longer. How dare those reporters question Dear Leader?! The Patriots Dynasty will last another hundred years! But soon enough, Josh McDaniels will be having the team go 5-11 and they’ll all piss and moan about how this is the worst thing ever and we didn’t deserve this, which is true only in the sense that we deserve far worse than we’ll ever be able to get.
Nothing was done to fix the front 7 that got destroyed in the Super Bowl like an asshole after a trip to Wahlburgers, the wide receiving depth has been eviscerated, and with Edelman suspended, the passing options will be Gronk and a guy they found outside the stadium wearing a bootleg Wes Welker T-shirt 15 minutes before the game. In spite of the roster starting to look remarkably dilapidated, I still feel bad complaining since the rest of the AFC East is such a shitshow that this team could easily make the AFC championship again before flaming out spectacularly.
Local sports media would rather talk about what Gronk is doing on fucking Instagram than any of the other professional sports teams in Boston.
My dad still complains about the Super Bowl losses to the Giants. He did it right after they beat the Seahawks, too.
And despite all this whining, despite knowing that there is no real rational reason to cheer for any of this shit anymore, I know in my heart I’m still going to be rooting for this team, because I am a coward and a hypocrite.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Philadelphia Eagles.